Fumio Kishida,
Japan’s new prime minister who succeeded Shinzo Abe, will be in India Saturday
on a two-day visit where he will call on Indian PM Narendra Modi. This is
Kishida’s first visit to India as prime minister, although he has visited the
country as Japan’s foreign minister and has met Modi on numerous occasions over
the last few years.

The meeting
between the Indian and Japanese prime ministers assumes significance as it
comes barely a month before a scheduled Quad meeting in Japan where Kishida and
Modi will be joined by United States President Joe Biden and Australian Prime
Minister Scott Morrison.

On Saturday,
Kishida and Modi are expected to jointly reflect upon the security
infrastructure of the Indo-Pacific. The Ukraine war too is expected to feature
in the conversation. Some of what is discussed in the India-Japan summit may
spill over into the Quad conversations in April. This is the 14th
India-Japan Annual Summit.

Arindam Bagchi,
spokesperson for the Indian external affairs ministry, issued a statement to
the media saying, “At the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prime
Minister of Japan Kishida Fumio will be undertaking an official visit to New
Delhi from March 19-20 for the 14th India-Japan annual summit.”  The previous India-Japan annual summit took
place in Tokyo in 2018.

Japanese PM Kishida,
in an op-ed in The Indian Express published Saturday, wrote that he this is a
milestone year marking 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and
Japan. On the war raging in Ukraine, Kishida wrote, “Today, the international
community faces a situation that is undermining the very foundation of the
global order.”

“Russia’s invasion
of Ukraine is a clear violation of international law as well as an attempt to
unilaterally change the status quo by force, and it is totally unacceptable,”
Kishida said adding that Japan will join the international community in
resolute actions. He further said that such changing of the status quo by force
“must not be tolerated in the Indo-Pacific region.”